South Africans might not be clear who in the ANC is winning the battle, but there is little doubt that it is the people of the country who are losing, writes Howard Feldman.
Morning clouds. Mild.
Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.
Cape Town - Political parties on Friday hailed former state President Nelson Mandela as a "tireless leader" who rose above his party and personality.
Speaking during Parliament's Joint Sitting debate in celebration of Mandela's 90th birthday, ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the elder statement had continued working hard despite having retired several years ago.
"When he said he was retiring from government, he continued to mobilise resources to build schools for the poor," he said.
While he took up arms to fight the apartheid regime, he was a great believer in a peaceful settlements.
"He took up arms because it was necessary to defeat the apartheid monster," he said.
However, Motlanthe said it would be wrong for people to threaten to take up arms in the current political dispensation since there was now democracy in the country.
"We can not take up arms when we have a democratic Constitution," Motlanthe said.
Democratic Alliance MP Tony Leon said Mandela was an inspiring role model to South Africans and the entire world.
"South Africa shares Mandela with the world; his party shares him with the opposition and he rises above party and personality as the most powerful and potent and positive symbol of all that is good about our country and the message of hope he offers to the world at large," he said.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the country would have easily slide into a civil war had it not been for Mandela's intervention.
"I am proud of our partnership in promoting peace and reconciliation in South Africa. As a father figure to our nation, he has been simply marvellous," he said.
Mandela, who turns 90 on July 18, is currently in London.
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